This is my new SS38, but is this really a Tokai?

Tokai guitar discussion

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dramatolog
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This is my new SS38, but is this really a Tokai?

Post by dramatolog » Thu May 19, 2022 9:19 am

Hi people!

I got a decent deal on a Tokai SS38 today.

I just brought it home, it sounds quite nice and plays well. Now I looked what's inside it and I can't find any markings on the body except YS. The electronic is obviously totally changed - Lace sensor pickups as it seems. What bothers me the routing and the setup of the sades.

Can you people help me with this one?

here you can find the photos:
https://imgur.com/a/EHpDNHY

Thanks a bunch!
Last edited by dramatolog on Fri May 20, 2022 2:40 am, edited 2 times in total.

Sigmania
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Re: My new Tokai ss38

Post by Sigmania » Thu May 19, 2022 9:54 am

The neck looks like a Tokai, but I’m not sure about that body.

The pickup routs are different than any Silver Star I’ve seen.

Image

Image

Image
Last edited by Sigmania on Thu May 19, 2022 11:02 am, edited 1 time in total.
That’s alright ‘cause I still got my guitar… ‘79 LS80 GT Reborn, '79 ST100 Springy, '81 LS100S Hog, '81 ST70R Slab Springy, ‘81 ST80R V Neck Springy, '81 TE120 Arabesque Breezy, '82 LS120 Solid Flame, '82 JB45R Jazz Sounds, ‘84 ST70 Gold Star Maple Cap

Sigmania
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Re: My new Tokai ss38

Post by Sigmania » Thu May 19, 2022 11:00 am

Should look something like this:

Image
Last edited by Sigmania on Thu May 19, 2022 11:03 am, edited 1 time in total.
That’s alright ‘cause I still got my guitar… ‘79 LS80 GT Reborn, '79 ST100 Springy, '81 LS100S Hog, '81 ST70R Slab Springy, ‘81 ST80R V Neck Springy, '81 TE120 Arabesque Breezy, '82 LS120 Solid Flame, '82 JB45R Jazz Sounds, ‘84 ST70 Gold Star Maple Cap

Sigmania
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Joined: Mon May 14, 2012 6:36 pm
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Re: My new Tokai ss38

Post by Sigmania » Thu May 19, 2022 11:02 am

That’s alright ‘cause I still got my guitar… ‘79 LS80 GT Reborn, '79 ST100 Springy, '81 LS100S Hog, '81 ST70R Slab Springy, ‘81 ST80R V Neck Springy, '81 TE120 Arabesque Breezy, '82 LS120 Solid Flame, '82 JB45R Jazz Sounds, ‘84 ST70 Gold Star Maple Cap

dramatolog
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Posts: 21
Joined: Fri Apr 29, 2022 12:01 am
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Re: My new Tokai ss38

Post by dramatolog » Fri May 20, 2022 2:47 am

Sigmania wrote:
Thu May 19, 2022 9:54 am
The neck looks like a Tokai, but I’m not sure about that body.

The pickup routs are different than any Silver Star I’ve seen.
I see. But where could another 3 bolt body come from? Were there copes so widely available back in the days, because the body looks old for sure?

Thanks!

Sigmania
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Re: This is my new SS38, but is this really a Tokai?

Post by Sigmania » Fri May 20, 2022 4:39 am

Well Fujigen obviously made 3 bolt bodies for Fender.

And the “YS” is the color code Tokai used for the 3 tone burst, yellow sunburst.

The only guitars I’ve seen with a code written in crayon are custom orders or one offs. With Tokai I never say never. Anything is possible.

If you take the neck off, the neck pocket may hold some clues as well as the butt of the neck (markings, etc).

Tokai bodies have slightly countersunk holes in the neck pocket. Could you take some pictures in there? That might help.

Also, what is the serial number so we know when this was made?
That’s alright ‘cause I still got my guitar… ‘79 LS80 GT Reborn, '79 ST100 Springy, '81 LS100S Hog, '81 ST70R Slab Springy, ‘81 ST80R V Neck Springy, '81 TE120 Arabesque Breezy, '82 LS120 Solid Flame, '82 JB45R Jazz Sounds, ‘84 ST70 Gold Star Maple Cap

dramatolog
I only know 3 chords
Posts: 21
Joined: Fri Apr 29, 2022 12:01 am
Location: Austria
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Re: This is my new SS38, but is this really a Tokai?

Post by dramatolog » Fri May 20, 2022 6:55 am

Here is the neck and the neck pocket

Image

Image

Image

And there is another interesting thing, what I read, the serial numbers should start with the year the guitar was produced, followed by 0 and then five numbers, my serial number starts with 21.

Sigmania
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Re: This is my new SS38, but is this really a Tokai?

Post by Sigmania » Fri May 20, 2022 11:31 am

Can you post a picture of the serial number?

The stamps in your guitar do not look like Tokai. Not even the neck. Same with the holes in the neck pocket.

Numbers starting with 21 are typically from 2021.

The decals are easily available on line. Not sure if they have fake serial numbers or not. You might try a search.

That big "F" stamp is telling. It's not Tokai. I can't remember who used those big letter stamps. I believe Fender in Japan may have.

Was that sold to you as a Tokai?
Last edited by Sigmania on Fri May 20, 2022 11:36 am, edited 1 time in total.
That’s alright ‘cause I still got my guitar… ‘79 LS80 GT Reborn, '79 ST100 Springy, '81 LS100S Hog, '81 ST70R Slab Springy, ‘81 ST80R V Neck Springy, '81 TE120 Arabesque Breezy, '82 LS120 Solid Flame, '82 JB45R Jazz Sounds, ‘84 ST70 Gold Star Maple Cap

Sigmania
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Posts: 4161
Joined: Mon May 14, 2012 6:36 pm
Location: NC, USA

Re: This is my new SS38, but is this really a Tokai?

Post by Sigmania » Fri May 20, 2022 11:34 am

Image

Image
That’s alright ‘cause I still got my guitar… ‘79 LS80 GT Reborn, '79 ST100 Springy, '81 LS100S Hog, '81 ST70R Slab Springy, ‘81 ST80R V Neck Springy, '81 TE120 Arabesque Breezy, '82 LS120 Solid Flame, '82 JB45R Jazz Sounds, ‘84 ST70 Gold Star Maple Cap

Sigmania
Donating Member
Posts: 4161
Joined: Mon May 14, 2012 6:36 pm
Location: NC, USA

Re: This is my new SS38, but is this really a Tokai?

Post by Sigmania » Fri May 20, 2022 11:35 am

Also, is there a number on the very butt end of the neck containing an = sign?
That’s alright ‘cause I still got my guitar… ‘79 LS80 GT Reborn, '79 ST100 Springy, '81 LS100S Hog, '81 ST70R Slab Springy, ‘81 ST80R V Neck Springy, '81 TE120 Arabesque Breezy, '82 LS120 Solid Flame, '82 JB45R Jazz Sounds, ‘84 ST70 Gold Star Maple Cap

dramatolog
I only know 3 chords
Posts: 21
Joined: Fri Apr 29, 2022 12:01 am
Location: Austria
Contact:

Re: This is my new SS38, but is this really a Tokai?

Post by dramatolog » Fri May 20, 2022 11:47 am

Sigmania wrote:
Fri May 20, 2022 11:31 am
Can you post a picture of the serial number?
Here it is >

Image
https://imgur.com/a/mBKoMXh

felis on Strat-talk mentioned that the 21 number means the guitar was made in a another factory >
the second digit (1) makes it a Nagano (Tokai's secondary factory) build. Tokai started this secondary factory for other clients using different brands, and for their own Tokai branded base models.

I also saw an example on Reverb.com with the same serial format, 210 followed by 4 bold numbers.

https://reverb.com/item/10977488-tokai- ... e-sunburst

Sigmania
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Re: This is my new SS38, but is this really a Tokai?

Post by Sigmania » Fri May 20, 2022 11:53 am

In that case it would have been made in similar fashion to the “inkie” Love Rocks. That’s wild.

If true, it was like a subcontract the way the lower end models are made in China to this day.

Fascinating.

Search inkie, inky or inkies on here.
Last edited by Sigmania on Fri May 20, 2022 11:59 am, edited 1 time in total.
That’s alright ‘cause I still got my guitar… ‘79 LS80 GT Reborn, '79 ST100 Springy, '81 LS100S Hog, '81 ST70R Slab Springy, ‘81 ST80R V Neck Springy, '81 TE120 Arabesque Breezy, '82 LS120 Solid Flame, '82 JB45R Jazz Sounds, ‘84 ST70 Gold Star Maple Cap

Sigmania
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Posts: 4161
Joined: Mon May 14, 2012 6:36 pm
Location: NC, USA

Re: This is my new SS38, but is this really a Tokai?

Post by Sigmania » Fri May 20, 2022 11:56 am

Inkies were typically 1980/81. Wonder if yours is 1981?
Last edited by Sigmania on Fri May 20, 2022 6:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
That’s alright ‘cause I still got my guitar… ‘79 LS80 GT Reborn, '79 ST100 Springy, '81 LS100S Hog, '81 ST70R Slab Springy, ‘81 ST80R V Neck Springy, '81 TE120 Arabesque Breezy, '82 LS120 Solid Flame, '82 JB45R Jazz Sounds, ‘84 ST70 Gold Star Maple Cap

dramatolog
I only know 3 chords
Posts: 21
Joined: Fri Apr 29, 2022 12:01 am
Location: Austria
Contact:

Re: This is my new SS38, but is this really a Tokai?

Post by dramatolog » Fri May 20, 2022 11:57 am

Sigmania wrote:
Fri May 20, 2022 11:31 am

The stamps in your guitar do not look like Tokai. Not even the neck. Same with the holes in the neck pocket.

That big "F" stamp is telling. It's not Tokai. I can't remember who used those big letter stamps. I believe Fender in Japan may have.

Was that sold to you as a Tokai?
Yes, it was sold as a Tokai, it looks quite convincing, as you can see everything is matching until you open it up. The logo, the tuners, the tremolo, the tremolo block. For me it is crazy that someone went so far to make such a good copy of a Tokai that would sell only for only few hundreds??

On the subject of the body and the micro tilt, I haven't find other examples of it other than those on the old JV fenders and squiers. and these guitars were made in the same period and same factories like the Tokais. Is it possible that this one was just branded as Tokai when it left the factory?

This guitar is exactly the same as mine, to the point of the similar wood grain in the neck pocket, but it is a Fender>
https://reverb.com/item/13970403-fender ... llow-white

Sigmania
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Re: This is my new SS38, but is this really a Tokai?

Post by Sigmania » Fri May 20, 2022 12:03 pm

If it was made in Nagano that would explain it. Like the "DSS" stamp which seems like "Silver Star".

I just wasn’t aware that they made Fender copies there as well as the Les Paul copies which were also atypical Tokais (dowels in the neck joints, similar to Greco guitars I believe).

Very cool.
Last edited by Sigmania on Fri May 20, 2022 6:43 pm, edited 5 times in total.
That’s alright ‘cause I still got my guitar… ‘79 LS80 GT Reborn, '79 ST100 Springy, '81 LS100S Hog, '81 ST70R Slab Springy, ‘81 ST80R V Neck Springy, '81 TE120 Arabesque Breezy, '82 LS120 Solid Flame, '82 JB45R Jazz Sounds, ‘84 ST70 Gold Star Maple Cap

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